Perceptions and practices regarding the process of obtaining informed consent from surgical patients at a tertiary care hospital

Perceptions and practices regarding the process of obtaining informed consent from surgical patients at a tertiary care hospital
Cross-sectional Study
Muhammad Asharib Arshad, Naureen Omar, Muhammad Zaid Amjad, Khalid Bashir, Muhammad Irfan, Irfan Ullah
Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 22 December 2021
Proper informed consent is essential for patients to have sound knowledge about the indication, risks, and benefits of a proposed surgical procedure. The study aim was to assess the perceptions of postoperative patients about the informed consent process and identify various influential factors in a tertiary care hospital.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from February to August 2018 at a tertiary care hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. A validated questionnaire was used to conduct interviews of 101 patients planning to undergo elective surgery after fulfilling all ethical considerations. A purposive sampling technique was employed to enroll and the data analysis was
performed by using SPSS version 23.
Out of total 101 patients, 50 (49.5%) of them were males and the mean age of total sample was 36.98 ± 14.23 years. The majority 92 (91.1%) considered informed consent to be important and that it did not influence their surgical decision 85 (84.2%). Consent was obtained by the consulting surgeon from 41 (40.6%) patients and by the residents/house officer from 60 (59.4%) patients. Fifteen (14.8%) patients signed the consent form themselves, and 86 (85.1%) relatives of patients signed. Ninety-eight (97.0) patients were told about indications of the surgery, and 54 (53.5%) were told about possible complications. Seventy-five (74.3%) patients were informed about alternatives to surgery. Significant reasons for not signing were language (p = 0.03), educational status (p = 0.002), and not being informed by relatives before signing (p = 0.02).
The patients had adequate knowledge about the process of informed consent and considered it important. Factors identified as barriers to signing the consent form by the patients themselves included language, better educational status, and not being asked by relatives. It is imperative to involve the patients in the process of consent, especially in signing by them or in their presence by their surrogate.

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